Joker director Todd Phillips has clarified the will-they-won't-they rumours about a sequel to the successful film.

Last week The Hollywood Report said Warner Brothers was forging ahead with the follow-up to the Joaquin Phoenix-starring super-anti-hero title. But Deadline countered that with a report saying no deals were in place for Phillips or Phoenix to reprise their roles.

Now Phillips has confirmed to IndieWire that no deals are in place, but that doesn't mean a follow-up to what's reportedly the most profitable comic book film ever won't happen.

"Well, a movie doesn't make a billion dollars and they don't talk about a sequel," Phillips said. "Joaquin and I have publicly said we've been talking about a sequel since week two of shooting because it's a fun thing to talk about. But [The Hollywood Reporter] article was referring to other things than that that were just frankly untrue. I don't know how it gets started, if it's some [movie studio] assistant trying to gain street cred with a writer."

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"Here's the real truth about a sequel," IndieWire reported. "While Joaquin and I have talked about it, and while touring the world with Warner Bros executives — going to Toronto, and Venice, and other places — of course, we're sitting at dinner and they're saying, 'So, have you thought about…?' But, talking about contracts, there's not a contract for us to even write a sequel, we've never approached Joaquin to be in a sequel. Will that happen? Again, I just think the article was anticipatory at best."

The film has grossed more than US$1 billion ($1.6b) at the worldwide box office and is the highest-grossing R-rated film in history.

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